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Losing to Arizona 31-27 Brock Osweiler, Sun Devils throw game away

Tim Kish was a happy crazy uncle after Arizona's 31-27 victory against rival ASU on Saturday.
Tim Kish was a happy crazy uncle after Arizona's 31-27 victory against rival ASU on Saturday.

Brock Osweiler needs to be more careful.

After that whole tattoo incident, he threw two poorly-timed interceptions in ASU's 31-27 loss to the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday, and UA cornberback Trevin Wade forced a fumble to take away three very viable scoring opportunities for the Sun Devils.

The assumption before the game was that ASU would have opportunities, and they did.

On Saturday, the Sun Devils just didn't capitalize.

Even with the help of two missed field goals by UA kicker John Bonano in the first half, they couldn't get the win. Twice the Sun Devils settled for Alex Garoutte field goals with the line of scrimmage within 10 yards of the end zone, and twice did Osweiler throw a pick inside the 20-yard line. Once, in the red zone, did Wade knock the ball out of a receiver's arms and right into the arms of linebacker Derek Earls.

On the same token, Arizona didn't turn it over once.

That was the recipe for the 3-8 Wildcats to drop the 6-5 Sun Devils and keep the race for the Pac-12 South Division interesting.

The third loss in a row for ASU saw Arizona's defense play perhaps its best game of the season. 

With ASU driving, Jourdon Grandon returned a pick from the Wildcats' 11-yard line in the third quarter and the Wildcats down 24-17. It was a resuscitation for the Wildcats, who had blown a 14-0 first quarter.

Here's how that went.

On the first possession of the game for Arizona, quarterback Nick Foles found receiver Juron Criner for a 48-yard pass to put the ball a yard from the goal line. Arizona would eventually punch the ball into the end zone.

Driving the Sun Devils deep into UA territory after UA's scoring drive, Osweiler threw his first pick to Shaquille Richardson, who returned it from the Wildcats' 10 to the Arizona 49-yard line.

The magic was all in the fourth quarter. 

With more than 10 minutes to play, Foles found Gino Crump for a 33-yard dump-off that saw the receiver shed at least three defenders before finding himself in the end zone. After a defensive stop, freshman running back Ka'Deem Carey bought some momentum with a 23-yard rush to ignite Arizona. Foles went down -- he appeared to have hurt his oblique or hip on a handoff without contact -- and three plays later, backup and senior Bryson Beirne found Criner on a screen pass for a 23-yard touchdown.

Grandon's interception came as ASU -- again -- was driving on the next possession.

And of course, ASU had one last chance as the Wildcats struggled to move the ball. Osweiler marched the Sun Devils to Arizona's 15, where Arizona's defensive backs broke up two passes -- one in the end zone and one a few yards outside of it -- as time expired.

Overall, we learned that this team can be competitive when they don't turn the ball over themselves. Of course, it's too little, too late, but the Wildcats looked like a capable team for stretches, especially on defense.

Ka'Deem Carey looked like the back that will be a future star, and getting him more than 10 touches -- something Arizona hasn't done all too often -- gave him the chance to dominate. Carey rushed for 92 yards on 13 carries and caught four catches for 47 yards.

Criner finished with 134 yards off nine receptions, and Foles totaled 370 yards on a 35-for-51 completion rate.

The moment of the evening, however, came as Beirne's only pass attempt led to the go-ahead touchdown to Criner with just more than five minutes left in the game. For ASU, Osweiler torched Arizona's defense for 487 pass yards. That came on 65 (yes, 65) pass attempt, only 36 of which he completed.